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Tips for Protecting Your Internet Privacy on Social Media Apps

Social media platforms are gigantic. More than half of the population has an account on some of the popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. While the companies running social media platforms invest heavily in protecting their user data and privacy, the same can’t be said for the companies that stand behind third-party social media apps.

Taking an online survey on social media platforms or using a quiz maker software can result in a data leak that can harm anyone who decided to share personal data. To combat this threat, users jump into using solutions without even knowing that it does. Today, we are going to help you learn how to protect your internet privacy on social media apps and understand why it is crucial.

Social Media Apps Are a Real Threat

Not all the data you share on social media gets stored on top-notch Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter servers. Every time you try to use a social media app, the app will ask you to allow access to your personal data such as your picture, email, friends list, and so on. The moment you click yes, the social media app will pull that data and store it on a different server.

This presents a significant risk for a data leak as cybersecurity, as recently revealed. UpGuard, an Australian IT firm, recently brought two apps on Facebook to the general public’s attention. These two apps pulled user data from Facebook servers and stored it on completely insecure servers. Thus, people’s account names, Facebook IDs, likes, and comments ended up on Amazon Web Services cloud servers.

Fortunately, Facebook and Amazon resolved this “inconvenience.” But this is physical proof that social media apps are a real threat to your internet privacy and that you should take steps to protect yourself.

Only Use Trusted Quiz Maker Tools

One of the most popular social media apps used today is the quiz maker. These apps are very convenient as they help users create and launch an online survey in an instant. As it happens, the demand for these tools motivated software companies to develop and launch them on social media. The most common trade-off of quick software development is user data security.

Insecure data storing practices, as we can see, can result in a data leak. While launching an online survey can help you quickly gauge the opinion of your audience, whether they are just regular followers or customers, we urge you to use quiz maker tools created by established companies.

Use a VPN

Using a VPN is the next best thing you can do to protect your online privacy. A VPN scrambles and encrypts all internet traffic. Even if someone manages to hook onto your connection and try to sniff the data out, your privacy will be intact. Why? Because the data is unusable without the encryption key, which only you have. This is a great way to enhance your online security and privacy on social media apps, but also on the internet overall.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is one of the most common acronyms found in online privacy and security articles. It stands for Virtual Private Network – a service that you can sign up for and use while online. VPN encrypts your internet communication, assigns you a brand new temporary IP address, and hides your actual IP address. Your internet connection is thus more secure, your data is safe, and you remain truly anonymous while browsing or using social media apps.

Set Up Your Social Media Accounts

All social media platforms offer ways to protect your personal information. Unfortunately, these ways are embedded in the “Options” or “Settings” menus, which are a terrifying place to go to for people who are not very tech-savvy. Here is a quick recap on how to protect your data while using social media apps on Facebook.

Click on Settings and select “Apps and websites” located on the left sidebar. Here, you can restrict access to specific apps or remove apps from accessing your personal data altogether. Some apps require data access to run, so be mindful about which apps to trust.

You can control your ability to interact with apps both on and off Facebook by clicking on the “Edit” button under the “Apps, websites, and games.” Turn this setting on if you want to use social media apps on Facebook, or turn it off if you’re going to restrict access to a majority of apps on Facebook.

User Strong Passwords and 2FA

There isn’t a software solution or a best practice that makes you utterly immune to online threats and data leaks. Sometimes, your social media ID or your email may leak. But you can make sure that cybercriminals can’t access your social media profile even if your login name is made public.

Use a strong password on all your social media accounts. A strong password is 12 characters long, contains numbers, symbols, capital, and lower-case letters. Also, don’t use the same password for all your online accounts.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a great way to protect your social media accounts in addition to the strong password. Facebook has a 2FA feature that you can enable by going into “Settings” > “Security and Login” > “Use two-factor authentication” > “Edit.” You can choose from two 2FA methods, SMS codes, or login codes from a 3rd party authentication app.

Use Fingerprint and Screen Lock On Your Phone

Finally, your phone should also be secure since you are going to use social media apps on it as well. If you end up losing your phone or it gets stolen, you have to ensure that a person that gets a hold of it can’t access all those accounts you are logged into, including social media.

Use the built-in security measures every modern phone has, such as fingerprint lock or screen lock (PIN or pattern).

It is never a bad thing to practice extra caution when online. Using quiz maker software developed by reputable companies, connected to the internet via a VPN, and using strong passwords will keep you very well protected when using social media apps.

Robin Singh

Robin is a Technical Support Executive and an ed-tech enthusiast with a combined experience of six years. He is well-acquainted with various knowledge-based tools and is passionate about writing on emerging technologies in the areas of knowledge management and role of knowledge-based tools in modern businesses. Working with numerous organizations has given him a hands-on experience in the application of knowledge-based tools in various sectors of business. His key areas of interest range from the strategies of managing knowledge in large organizations to handling all the areas of customer support in companies of all sizes. He is currently associated with ProProfs. In his free time, Robin enjoys reading, travelling and music.

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